Planning Board Minutes from 10/23/2003
 

The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Roll call was taken.  Present:  Mr. Westbrook, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Vitale, Mr. LoForte, Mr. Lopore, Mr. Canderella, Mr. Capizzano, and Mr. David (who arrived at 8:10).  Absent: Mr. Rappa, Mr. Schultz, Mr. Rica, Mr. Tripodi, Mr. Pugliese, and Mr. Benintente.

A motion to accept the minutes was made by Mr. Lopore, 2nd by Mr. Vitale.  A motion to pay the attorney and secretary fees made by Mr. Capizzano, 2nd by Mr. Lopore.

All in favor. The minutes of September, 2003 had a correction of the word “swell” to “swale”.

NEW BUSINESS:  Application #278, Sprint Spectrum, for a Wireless Tellecommunication Facility at Beth David Memorial Park, 731 Boulevard.

Mr. Stephen Marshall, Esq., representative of Sprint Spectrum, explained

The site is in a PF location.  The proposed facility will consist of 3 sections with 3 antennas each.  It will be 153 feet above ground level.  A lightning rod will extend 8’ above the pole. There will be four cabinets at the base 9 feet tall (no building).  The maximum structure will be 35 feet.  There will be trees and landscaping around the bottom of the facility. The application needs site plan approval because a wireless telecommunication facility is not permitted in the PF zone.  A height variance is required also.  Several witness will represent Sprint: Mr. Daniel Collins, a Compliance expert, Mr. Frank Colasurdo,  a  registered architect,  Mr. Brian Pierson, a Radio Frequency engineer, and Mr. Tim Michael, an engineer.

Mr. O’Briens and Dr. Diskos reports were received recently by Mr. Marshall. 

Sworn in:  Daniel Collins.  The facility will be in compliance with the State and FCC exposure levels.

Sworn in:  Mr. Frank Colasurado:  showed drawings (exhibit A-2) showing the facility on the proposed site.   It will be a 22x20 ft. compound fenced in with a gate and evergreens surrounding the area.  There will be one light fixture and four equipment cabinets, one being 6 feet tall. There will be a possible 220 amp service line installed.  The service man could park in a nearby lot.  There will be nine antennas on a 150 ft high monopole. It will sit on a concrete base, extending below the ground.  The monopole is eight-sided with a 36”diameter, tapered to 18” diameter. Pegs will be removed from the bottom to discourage vandals climbing up. 

Mr. Marshall said there is a concern about the tower being too close from 31st Street, so the landlord agreed the facility could be situated 1,000 feet east of the original site (in compliance with Dr. Diskos’ recommendation).  This correction will be termed A-3, site revision. 

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Sworn in:  Mr. Brien Pierson:  presented exhibit A-4, a base map with two overlays.  He said the Kenilworth Inn has three carriers and antennas are “maxed-out”.  The antenna is needed in Kenilworth to fill in the “service gap”.  The proposed height is above the tree line and will not interfere with radios or t.v. reception.  He read Mr. O’Brian and Mr. Diskos reports, but said the A & P site would not cover the gap.  The Water tower on N. Michigan Avenue by Black Brook park site would not evenly distribute the reception from that location.

A suggestion of a “fake tree” to disguise the antenna was made, but not agreed upon. 

Sworn in:  Mr. O’Brien, Professional Planner for the Planning Board: he questioned Mr. Pierson about current antenna coverage. Answer: there is a mix of four facilities.  If the Sprint facility would be placed on the Kenilworth Inn site, it would have to be placed 70 feet lower than the proposed site, reducing overall coverage.  There are levels of service that address un-interrupted coverage for 911 calls.  Mr. Lane suggested the appropriate legislation on  “required coverage” be submitted to the Board, if this application is continued to the next meeting. 

Sworn in:  Dr. Mike Disko, town engineer.  Mr. Marshall said Section 615 of the Wireless Communications Public Safety Act of 1999 requires a “reliable, seamless, and ubiquitous coverage” to make sure there will be sufficient 911 coverage. 

Dr. Disko did not have the current aerial view and apologized for the late report.

He suggested the antenna be moved to the far eastern section.  The new area is buffered and not as visible to the general public.  Lowering the tower is a radio-frequency issue.  If Sprint would come back next month with a modified revised plan, we could look at the visibility issue. He said may be able to bring the antennas in closer and even go to six antennas, as opposed to nine.  The issue of covering the tower as a fake tree would be visually poor.  The trees coverage would be 70’ at maximum.   The applicant is apparently locked into that area where they can get a commercial agreement and the newly-proposed area is less visible than the area at 31st Street.  The Board could approve just one set of the antennae and platform, re-submitting for future antennas.  The township of Mountainside has the rights to the monopole, and, in the future with advanced technology, the poles may become obsolete, and the wireless companies would have to take down the monopole and restore the area.

Mr. Marshall said Sprint tries to put antennas in the least intrusive areas. This monopole will be available to co-locate with other wireless companies.

The applicant requested a continuance to the November 20 meeting, and Mr. O’Brien is requested to return to that meeting.  Mr. Lane stated the cell tower is not an “inherently beneficial” use.  The Telecommunications facility must satisfy our criteria for aesthetics.

The height is a question that could be addressed.  Also, other wireless applicants will be coming in. 

Other Business was discussed and will be addressed in another meeting.  The Board will suggest a raise for the secretarial position to the Mayor and council.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Janet Murphy, recording secretary 

 



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